At a gathering of tourism industry professionals last night in Traverse City for the Convention and Visitors Bureau annual meeting, President Brad Van Dommelen shared the good news: 2012 was another record year for Traverse City tourism. Average room occupancy as of October 31 was 60.9%, compared to 58.9% for the state. Nationally, the average is 63.2%. That is significant because Traverse City used to lag the national average by eight to 10 percentage points, Van Dommelen says. Revenue per available room – the standard most often used by the industry – was $71.40 compared to $49.52 in Michigan and $67.18 nationally.
The TCCVB's advertising and marketing budget has increased by 350% in the past two years, with paid advertising exceeding $3 million in 2012. That investment was made possible by a 3 percent boost – from 2 to 5 percent – in the room assessment that funds the TCCVB's annual budget of approximately $5 million.